My love for this country already existed before I had ever been there.
It's purely emotional. Like someone who can long for something almost unreachable, I was attracted to this far-away resort.
In my dreams it looked like one of the last pure places on earth.
I have been to Norway before and lived in Sweden and Iceland.
In my thoughts Spitsbergen should look like the Faeroe Islands, but covered with glaciers like I had seen in Iceland.
Later, people told me that they were surprised that I could imagine what the scenery would be like.
Although it was what I expected, this country filled me..... with happiness,
excitement, curiosity and gratitude.
Grateful, because it was still there. An (at first sight) untouched piece of nature, where human beings did not yet conquer.
Something which also attracted me in Iceland, is that the people are still inferior to nature, but in Iceland they fight - maybe unaware of it - and try to forget the old natural laws and religions.
Here in Spitsbergen people live with nature, not always on good terms, but there is a kind of harmony.
I am afraid that when tourism in search of something new marches on, this
harmony will dissappear, directly in proportion.
My feelings about setting up this website are very ambiguous. Above all I want to protect this country from tourism, at the other hand I know this site will rouse somebody's interest as well.
I don't want to stop anybody, but even recommend it. Provided that it happens in a good way, I am convinced that the damage will be restricted.
With this in mind I want to give you this information, hoping you will realize how precious it is.
I spend the summer months at the campsite in Longyearbyen and work as a guide at 'trekking-tours'. Also that way I hope I can share some of my passion en respect for this Arctic nature.
I wish you a pleasant stay, see and enjoy, but please leave everything as you found it, so many people who follow can experience the same.....
Thanks to my guides: Martin, Maarten & Rolf
and Nick Goddard in whom I found a friend.
...and last but not least, a BIG hug to all 'Umbreit-guides'; You know who you are!